“Would You Shut Up?” …Frustrated Tsatsu Yells At Addison
Date published: May 7, 2013
By Ivy Benson
The Supreme Court (SC) was a confrontational ground yesterday when the lead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, yelled at Mr. Philip Addison, who is the lead counsel for the election petition, ‘would you shut up?’
This happened during the cross-examination of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential running mate in the 2012 election.
Mr. Tsikata exploded at Mr. Addison when the latter raised an objection during the former’s cross-examination of the star witness of the petitioners in the case.
The explosion on him did not go down well with Mr. Addison, who sought the attention of the court, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, to impress upon Mr. Tsikata to withdraw his comment, which the petitioner’s counsel viewed as a strongly-worded comment directed at him.
However, the court, which also has Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse, Anin-Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo as panel members, over-looked the plea of Mr. Addison, and went ahead to set new rules for counsels in the case to follow, in the event where any objection needed to be raised.
“Go on counsel”, the court ordered Mr. Tsikata to continue his cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia, who is currently in the witness box.
The 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Party Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner in the 2012 presidential election by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The petitioners have cited President Mahama and the EC as respondents in the case, but the NDC was later joined in as a party in defending the allegations brought before the court.
In his evidence, Dr. Bawumia affirmed that a polling stations pink sheet evidence that the petitioners brought before the court to make a case of electoral violations going in favour of President Mahama were full of duplications and irregularities.
Witness concurred with the lead counsel for the NDC during cross-examination that some of the evidence placed before the court by the petitioners had no exhibit numbers and signature of the Commissioner of Oath.
Meanwhile, the witness was emphatic that his party agents were present and signed the polling station pink sheets presented as evidence, as was found on the face of the document, and also raised no protest to any violation.
According to Dr. Bawumia, he was present when the Commissioner of Oath was stamping the pink sheets as exhibits, but did not notice that some of the exhibits were not signed by the Commissioner of Oath.
He, therefore described the irregularities in the petitioners’ exhibits as insignificant, and would not in no way affect their case before the court.
Dr. Bawumia further denied that the petitioners’ exhibits before the court was a “jumble of papers” as suggested by the lead counsel for the NDC, but noted that they had provided concrete evidence of 11,842 polling station pink sheets results before the court.
The petitioners are asking the court to annul 4,670,504 votes, representing votes cast in 11,916 polling stations across the country, for what they termed” gross and widespread irregularities” recorded during the December 2012 poll.
Meanwhile, the petitioners have currently reduced the number of polling stations they are challenging to 11,136.
However, the respondents have denied the assertions of the petitioners, noting that the results of the election, as declared, were credible.
Hearing continues on today, May 7, 2013.
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